Bucks to keep its wild nature thanks to funds

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Traditional wild flower meadows will see another day after a community and conservation project was awarded lottery funding.

The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust has received initial support of £23,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop the project based at Meadow Farm, a wild flower-filled haven in west Bucks.

Over the next six months it will ask communities in Aylesbury and Bicester which projects they want to see at the farm. The trust’s head of conservation and education Chris Williams said: “Meadow Farm is a wonderful example of a precious and disappearing landscape.

“The ancient ridge and furrow fields show that it hasn’t been ploughed in living memory; around 95% of meadows like this have been lost in Bucks since the Second World War.

“Each summer the colourful wild flowers at Meadow Farm show what the floodplain meadows of between Aylesbury and Bicester used to be like.”

The initial grant will enable the trust to develop the farm project before it can apply for a full grant of £758,400 at a late date.

The trust has proposed potential projects to residents such as ‘Meet the Wildlife’ family events, informal workshops for artists and photographers being inspired by the farm’s beauty and agricultural heritage and school visits for children to learn about wildlife conservation.

The trust also proposes to run guided walks for people to discover Meadow Farm’s wonderful wildlife such as otters, butterflies and birds, work parties for people to join in and look after the wildlife habitats and workshops for traditional conservation skills such as scything.

South-east England’s head of Heritage Lottery Fund Stuart McLeod said: “We are delighted to be giving our initial support to the Meadow Farm project, which will see lots of opportunities for volunteers and people of all ages to get involved in the natural heritage on their doorstep.”